Program 2 Week 9 – Gratitude

Week 9 – Gratitude

The practice of gratitude elevates our wellbeing. Yet all too often we measure our own wellbeing by how  our lives compare to other people.  

We’re taught culturally to believe that happiness will arrive when we are above others in a socially defined way. But our true nature doesn’t care a bit about comparison. Instead of shiny things, it likes genuine delight, right here right now. Instead of comparison, our true nature lies in companionship, friendship, community, rich conversation, sunlight, laughter and the stillness of deep sleep.


There is a significant difference between an impulse that comes from culture, and one that comes from nature.

An impulse that comes from our nature is special. It is a special condition where we experience:

  • Enthusiasm 
  • Inspiration
  • Clarity of vision
  • More energy
  • Laser focus – we are doing the things that are important as opposed to urgent
  • Learning new things every day
  • Connection – we are invested in our key relationships

Ultimately, this type of impulse brings us an authentic feeling of gratitude for who we are and what we have

Conversely, an impulse that comes from culture makes us suffer. Any moment we spend thinking about what we lack we experience emotions that accompany scarcity:

  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Worry
  • Hard effort and struggle
  • Lack of energy, sense of depletion

It is still possible to get what we want when we feel these emotions. But when the impulse starts with what is missing, what we have not become, what we have not achieved, then such thoughts make everything feel like struggle and hard work. As a result, we suffer.


Because we want to be remembered when we’re gone, we’re inclined to chase external things and we get preoccupied by these badges of achievement. As we chase a legacy it’s common to feel that what we have is not quite enough. It’s easy to become obsessed with the future as we pursue the badges, so we completely miss the present moment.

It’s only when we are grateful for what we have that we attract our possibilities and potentials towards us. That’s when there is a shift from scarcity to abundance, from survival mode to a state of creative flow.

It’s authentic gratitude that takes us out of suffering, that’s when the energy surrounding us changes, when we find an inner peace and calm, and when taking action in alignment with our vision begins to feel effortless.

This change of internal state upgrades our emotions from destructive lower-level emotions to positive elevated emotions. This is really what the last ten weeks have been all about. Through working on our self-image and repeatedly practising a set of intrinsic habits every day, we have elevated our emotions. As a result we are more energised and more creative.

Way of Life

Gratitude isn’t just a fleeting emotion, it’s a way of life – a conscious choice to focus on the blessings rather than the burdens, the opportunities rather than the obstacles.

And gratitude is the greatest productivity hack that exists. Simply invert the key questions we ask ourselves. Don’t ask how can I work harder, ask how can I make this effortless.

If we are ingrained with the notion that more work equals better results, then we will develop the kind of work habits that won’t sustain our mental and physical wellbeing. Everything we do will then feel like an effort.

These are the old programs in our brain that take us down old paths that are counterproductive.

There is a better way. Sometimes a better physical way to approach something. Sometimes a better mental way to approach it. Sometimes both.

There is nothing wrong with discipline and hard work, but it’s not the only way. It doesn’t have to be exhausting, it’s not about the grind and the hustle. There are better ways. 

Embracing gratitude elevates our energy and attracts good things into our lives.


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